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Allegedly no connection between brain tumors and cell phone use
The possible health risks from cell phone radiation are still highly controversial among experts. One of the main points of controversy is whether the radiation can lead to tissue changes and thus an increased risk of cancer.
As part of a comprehensive study, Swiss researchers from the University of Basel have now examined possible connections between the risk of brain cancer and exposure to cell phone radiation in adolescents and children. The result: The researchers were unable to find an increased risk of cancer among children and adolescents using their cell phones.
Effects of cell phone radiation in the brain As part of the current study, the researchers at the University of Basel have data from 352 children and adolescents from Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, who were diagnosed with a brain tumor between 2004 and 2008, with a 646 Compared to control group. Among other things, the cell phone use of cancer patients was compared with the cell phone use of the randomly selected control persons of the same age, gender and place of residence. Certain areas of the brain have been shown to be particularly strongly irradiated while using the mobile phone, but according to the latest study results, an increased risk of cancer is not associated with this radiation, the scientists report. Even five years after using the cell phone for the first time, there is no increased risk of brain cancer, according to the experts. However, the researchers did not want to give the all-clear.
Uncertainties remain about possible cancer risks With regard to a possible connection between cell phone radiation and cancer risk, uncertainties remain, since the cell phone use of the study participants was relatively low overall, the Swiss researchers report. In addition, the data on the cell phone use of the test subjects are the result of a survey, although it remains unclear how accurate the information provided by the study participants about their previous cell phone use actually is. A slight increase in risk cannot therefore be ruled out on the basis of the current study, the researchers conclude. However, such a minimal risk increase could trigger a considerable number of additional illnesses with the large number of cell phone uses by children and adolescents. Therefore, the Swiss scientists warn that further studies on the risks of cell phone radiation to health are necessary and advocate regularly checking the cancer registry data for a possible increase in new cases with brain tumors.
No general all-clear for high-frequency electromagnetic radiation In view of the unpredictability of the new study, which the Swiss researchers themselves expressed, it will hardly be able to help settle the dispute among experts about the possible connections between cell phone radiation and cancer risk. Especially since the World Health Organization had warned at the beginning of June of the possible carcinogenic effects of the high-frequency electromagnetic radiation used in mobile communications. Based on the findings of an expert commission from the International Cancer Research Agency IARC, the WHO said that frequent use of the cell phone could potentially significantly increase the risk of brain tumors. Until further study results were available, consumers should be exposed to the least harmful radiation as possible, the WHO warned in June. These study results are now available with the current investigation by the Swiss researchers and they point in a fundamentally different direction than the fears of the WHO. But the scientists at the University of Basel also said that further studies are necessary to finally assess the cancer risk of cell phone radiation. This makes the public as smart after the study as before and can only hope for additional research. (fp)
Cell phone radiation may cause cancer
Image: Harald Wanetschka / pixelio.de